Does the sun shine on a cloudy day?

27 11 2011

Do you know the best known Bible verse?  It  is “God helps those who help themselves”.  Apparently the Barna Group did research in the US and it came out top of the poll.  Are you surprised? You should be!

It is surprising because it’s not in the Bible at all.  In fact it goes against much of the Bible’s teaching about grace (see for example Romans 5:6-8).  However, I think there’s some truth in it.

Here’s why.

Tucked right at the back of the Bible, in the book of Jude, is this little sentence – “Keep yourselves in God’s love.”  It doesn’t say that we can manage life by ourselves, but rather that we have a choice – we can choose to be in God’s love or not.  Of course, there are the sentences in the book of Romans ( 8:35-39) which offer assurance about God keeping believers in his love no matter what. 

King David in the Old Testament is also recorded as taking a proactive option – “David strengthened himself with trust in his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).  It’s not an “I can cope very well on my own thank you” attitude, but a choosing to trust God when the chips are down.

It’s a dance, a partnership.  There is ultimate security in God’s love and faithfulness – the sun is always shining.  But we can help ourselves by trusting our partner’s lead.  We can choose day to day, in the moment, to see only the clouds, or to remember that the sun is still shining and to keep ourselves in his love.

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